‘By being yourself, you put something beautiful into the world that wasn’t there before.’
A friend gave me this sticker with these words, years ago, and I thought it was a nice thing to say.
I am overwhelmed, yoga is starting to change my life viewpoints, and I am beginning to believe those 14 words on that sticker.
To answer the questions ‘What is Yoga and What Does It Mean to Me Right Now’, I do not know where to start.
An online source suggests that yoga is “More than a physical workout, yoga is a full mind and body exercise.”1
I would also say that yoga is all things to everyone, and yet, it’s not any one thing to everyone.
How can this statement make sense?
When practiced regularly, yoga provides full-body relief and rejuvenation. The physical poses and deep breathing have proven to bring repose to our overly stressed bodies and minds. Yoga brings oneself back to the core.
The purpose of taking a Yoga Teacher Training is not to teach (although I am starting to reconsider this).
I am profoundly deaf and cannot hear what is being said in a studio class. Visually, I work on the moves, and visually I see how we are to hold ourselves with the poses.
My years of training in martial arts have provided me with some good core basics to pull together what I am supposed to be doing, but I am not hearing or learning why we are doing certain poses and the benefits of those poses.
I am taking a yoga teacher training to understand what I am missing in class and to make sure I am not causing injury by doing the poses wrong.
I have been noticing that the more I practice yoga and understand the purpose of the pose, what we are to do, the mindful connection, and the physical purpose, I am finding the strength to be me without apologizing.
So, what is yoga?
For me, it is an outlet. Not only does my body have an amazing stretch during the practice or my mind a deeper connection with the breathwork, but the karma yoga (path of unselfish action) is pushing me to show gratitude and compassion in my life.
I still have a long way to go to answer this question more fully.
However, as I start to read Bhagavad Gita (for example), take online classes (they have subtitles), and really listen to what the instructors say, I am gaining stronger clarity to the discipline of ‘what is yoga’.